September 21

Can You Run In Hiking Shoes?

can you run in hiking shoes? New hikers or those looking to replace a pair of shoes is often ask this question, And the short answer is yes.

Whatever shoes keeps your feet happy and gets you out on the trail is the right shoes for you!

Hiking shoes might be used for running occasionally but they are not preferred for the regular runners. Most runners are putting in 5 to 20+ miles a week on their running shoes. hiking boots cannot bear that much.

The shoes are designed according to the purpose.
There are quite a few things that one should consider when deciding whether to continue with your hiking boots or change to one pair of good trail runners shoes.

Also Read: Are Chacos Good for Hiking?

Is Your Shoe Suitable For The Task?

Hiking in trail and running in trail is a hugely different experience. 

The goal of hiking boots is to provide the most stability possible. This is accomplished by significantly restricting both the foot and ankle's lateral movement. When you're holding a large load, you'll need that steadiness. When you're going for hiking trip ,packing a tent and two to three weeks of food, all packed into one  huge backpack, it weighed nearly half of the body weight.

In comparison, The trail running shoes are made specially for running on trails. This indicates trail runners must be light in order to keep up at their best. In most cases, the front of a trail running shoe is flexible and easy to move in. Trail running shoes are made of significantly lighter materials, and their soles are usually lighter as well.

Trail running shoes usually contain a rock plate in the soles, despite the fact that the soles are softer. The rock plate will protect feet from bruising caused by contact with stones and plants.

Can i hike in runnig shoes

Hiking boots VS running shoes

Hiking boots and running shoes may looks similar but there is a difference between hiking boots and running shoes. in the process of decision making whether to get hiking boots or trail runners shoes there is a few things you should consider to make an informed decision on what is right for you.

If you are considering making the switch in footwear, you are probably wondering, what are the main differences between hiking shoes and trail running shoes.

Well, there is a few fundamental difference between the two apart.


Hiking Boots

Hiking boots are made from thick material and generally have a thicker sole providing protection for your whole feet. Which sets hiking boots apart from trail runner’s shoes, most notably, is the high ankles that help provide support and prevent you from spraining or rolling your ankles. However, the thick soles mean you are higher from the ground and as a result, may be even more likely to lose your footing.

Trail runners

Trail runners are manufactured from much lighter materials and generally have lighter soles. It reduces fatigue because there is less effort in lifting your foot., however, so protection from debris and damage won’t be of the same level. Trail runners don’t feature high ankles either so the protection against sprains offered by hiking boots will be lacking in these. However, the sole is narrower, so you are closer to the ground, and as a result, there is a lower risk of tumbling.


Hiking Boots

As we’ve previously noted, hiking boots are made from thick materials that don’t offer a whole lot of wiggle room. You’ll need a snug fit for effective use, so they won’t yield much space and due to the ankle support, you won’t have a wide range of movement. While this helps for protection against external elements, it can also feel restrictive, so it really depends on your taste and personal preferences.

Trail runners

Trail running shoes are more compact, so they won’t feel as restrictive on your feet. The material will also offer much more flexibility and wide range movement. One downside to the trail runners is the narrower sole, which means you’ll feel the bumps and rocks underfoot leading to potential pain after a long day on the move or hike.

Longevity and Toughness

if you are looking in terms of long-lasting quality, hiking boots are the answer. They are made up of sturdier material and lasts up to 1000 miles. The outsole of many hiking shoes can be replaced which means you resole it for more usage.
Being ultralight, running shoes usually last not more than 6 months. Replace them after every 500 miles to prevent your feet from injuries.


Hiking boots are best suited to the autumn and winter months when the weather is colder. The thick material and bigger build mean that moisture vapour can’t escape properly so your feet will sweat easily.

Sweating, in turn, causes blisters, so wearing heavy hiking boots in summer can prove both uncomfortable and painful.

Trail runners are designed with multiple mesh patches and have the low-cut ankle to ensure you get maximum breathability in warm conditions they dry faster, so if you do work up a sweat, that sweat won’t stick around, they are more suitable for hotter climate.


Hiking boots

Most hiking boots will be made with waterproof materials to keep water from leaking in. Styles with mesh patches and other openings won’t offer the same level of defense but predominantly, hiking boots are designed to avoid taking in water. however, they require a longer time to dry out as compared to running shoes.

Trail runners

Trail running shoes won’t offer the same level of waterproof protection. Although the material may be somewhat waterproof, water will get in far easier than with hiking boots. Despite this, however, if your trail runners get submerged in a river crossing, they will dry out much quicker than hiking boots. As a result, many hikers prefer trail runners for long hikes when river crossings are likely.


Hiking boots or shoes are heavier and tend to weigh up to 2 lbs. or maybe more depending on the design. they will all generally be heavier than a pair of trail runners.

Trail runners are lightweight. They usually weigh between 1 to 2 lbs. Thy are ideal for those who like to keep light on their feet and go for an overall lightweight kit. While this is the perfect fit for many, some people enjoy the feel of a weightier boot underfoot.

Difference between Hiking Shoes and Trail Runners


  • Usually Heavier

  • Less breathable

  • Durability is high

  • Good foot support

  • Mostly insulated

  • Good grip


  • Lightweight

  • More breathability

  •  Last up to 6 months

  •  Less supportive

  • Not much insulation

  • Less grip

When to choose Hiking boots?

If you need more safety and protection, choose hiking boots.

A stable hiking boot is needed if you carry a heavy backpack, and your weight is heavier too. The soles are more solid. Thick and cushioned soles will serve you better and prevent foot injuries and spraining your ankles. Hiking boots are waterproof and insulated.

When to choose Running Shoes?

running or trail shoes are for trail or road running.

They are super lightweight to ensure maximum performance. This makes you quick on the trail and provides more flexibility. The sole of a running shoes is softer. They will not be able to protect you from debris and other damages. The sole of trail runners is narrower that means you will not be tripping from the ground. If you run in an area where the climate is dry, then you will prefer more breathable shoes.


it's all about having fun while staying safe in the outdoors. If you have knee problems from running in your hiking shoes, stop and try again with a pair of trail running shoes on your next adventure.

Check in all the factors before switching your footwear.

At the end of the day, it's your choice.

About the Author


Hussain is a passionate hiker and traveler that love the outdoor and enjoys what nature has to give, whenever he can he love to write and give tips & honest reviews to help others get out there and just seek more unforgettable experiences

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